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Full text of "The history of Frank Fairplay and his little brother Tom"

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Wonderful Things they Did. 








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FRAN K F A 1 11 P L A Y 

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In the genteel little house above, Mrs. Fairplay 
has lived as long as I can remember, and there 
both Frank and Tom first saw the light of day. 
You shall hear of some of their adventures ; for, 
though they are not yet higher than a Newfound- 
land dog, they have travelled many hundreds 
of miles, and seen many hundreds of remarkable 
sights. Having an uncle in London, the youthful 
sons of Mrs. Play fair received a pressing invita- 
tion to go and spend a few weeks with their 
cousins ; so Frank, by his mother's permission, 
wrote back a very pretty note, in which he po- 
litely said how delighted he and Tom were with 


the idea, and that they hoped to be with them the 
week following. On a certain morning, there- 
fore, the omnibus which travels between the town 
and the 

be seen 
at the 
Frank 's 
and the 

Avas to 
door of 
abode ; 

of the little travellers as each gave mamma a part- 
ing kiss, made the lobby of the house ring again. 
Precisely at ten minutes past seven in the evening, 
the door of the train was opened, and the brothers 
were informed by the railway guard that they 
had now reached the end of their journey. Now 
Mr. Brown, which was the name of Frank's uncle, 
was too thoughtful to allow his nephews to enter 
London without proper attention ; he therefore 
came to meet them in the gig, which they found in 

readiness to 
carry them 
at once to 
Tulip Hall- 
And such a 
sweet old 
gentleman is 
Mr. Brown ! He took their little hands in his. 


and shook them till they fairly acnec, again. He 
then lifted them gently into the vehicle, sprang in 
by the side of them, and away they went, pell-mell, 
through the beautiful streets of the largest city in 
the world. Uncle Brown's house was a little out 
of London, on the road to Windsor, and was sur- 
rounded by a large park, which the stag and the 
hind traversed with the speed of the wind. As 
they glided along through this rich domain, first 

one and then another of those nimble creatures 
would dart past with playful rapidity, until the 
house at length appeared in view, and Frank and 
Tom were soon borne into one of its handsomest 
rooms in the arms of their cousins and Mrs. Brown. 
Everything was delightful ! There were three 
little Miss Browns, with cheeks like the sunny 
side of a ripe apple ; and then there was curly- 
headed Eugene who had completed his tenth year 


a fortnight before, and was as fine a fellow as ever 
leaped a brook or strode a pony. Frank and Tom 
were at home in no time. The second day they 
all strolled into the park together, and went to see 
the large swan which carried itself so proudly on 
the surface of the pond. It was so tame that they 
could entice it very near them by throwing crumbs 
of bread upon the water, to which it would dart 
gracefully, and then retire. I had almost forgot to 

tell you that while little Ellen Brown was leaning 
over the edge of the pond, watching the motions 
of the swan, she overbalanced herself, and tum- 
bled headlong in. Her sisters shrieked with all 
their might, and away ran Tom and Eugene with 
the sad news to Tulip Hall. But Ellen would 
drown before her father could arrive : something 
must be done there and then, for the child was all 


out gone : Frank threw off his jacket in an instant, 
plunged into the water, and grasped his senseless 
cousin in his arms, bringing her safely to land just 
as Mr. Brown came up. Ellen was borne home, 
and soon recovered ; while Frank was loaded with 
caresses, and from that time forward became the 
favourite of everybody. 

Mr. Brown took them all to see the Queen and 
Prince Albert one fine afternoon, and sure enough 
they did see them. Here you have the portraits 
GI^fiSS^SGB of them, as they were 
drawn by Frank and his 
uncle, during the time & 
that the glittering car- m 
ringe of Her Majesty moved slowly past, 
sight was magnificent. Imagine eight cream-co- 
loured horses, yoked to a superb coach, gilded in 
the richest style. The little people were in rap- 
tures, and they returned home in high glee. 


The day was finished by a short excursion in the 
boat, and in order to prevent any accident, Mr- 
Brown went with them. They had an excellent 


trip, and were allowed to go upon the island in 
the centre of the lake, where each had a cup of 

milk and a biscuit. On the island Eugene built 
a small arbour, over which the honeysuckle and 
the rose had thrown their fragrant clusters. To 
all his sisters and cousins Eugene presented a rose, 
which each of them placed in his bonnet or cap ; 
and retired with three hearty cheers for the Queen. 
Tom sometimes amused himself by drawing his 
cousin Kate in the hand- carriage through the 
park ; but one day while he was thus engaged, a 
huge bull came 
rushing toward 
them, roaring as 
though he would 
shake the very 
sky, and tearing 
up the grasss in 


his angry flight. The beast ought to have been 
grazing in an adjacent field, but he had forced his 
passage through the fence. What was Tom to 
do ? The bull was vet a great distance off, so 
away he ran back with the carriage as fast as he 
could get along, shouting for help all the way. 
Frank, who was at work in the garden, came out 
with a fork in his hand, met the bull face to face, 
and sent him back to his own pasture bleeding in 

the head and roaring with rage. Tom and Kate 
gathered flowers, and gave them to Frank in token 
of his victory, while his Uncle Brown presented 
him with a shilling for his heroism. 

Mrs. Playfair now wrote for her sons to return 
home, as they had already been away a month. 
Mr. Brown resolved to comply with the request, 
but obtained a few days' longer absence for them, 
so that they might visit the wild beasts at the Zo- 
ological gardens. What an enjoyment that was \ 
There 'were monkeys, which perched upon the 

(10 > 

Doughs ot trees, and caught nuts in their paws : 
there was an elephant, that permitted Frank, and 
Tom, and his cousins, to mount its broad back 
and then marched with them, round its little 
prison-house — took gingerbread at their hands, 
and with its trunk struck a rude boy who had 
several times proffered it sweets, and then with- 
drew them. There was a leopard, with its glossy- 

skin and piercing eye s there were birds of every fea- 
ther, and reptiles of every form ; and, what seemed 
as interesting to the cousins as anything, they saw 
a beautiful zebra, of 
whose speed in its 
native plains we have 
all surely read. In /fj^Yfij 
every portion of the i\^^^tM\7 Vif ||^ 
Gardens fresh beau- 
ties struck the eye, 

and the last day of ^^^^ j||^^ 

Fiank and Tom's 


visit slipped away like a midnight dream dispelled 
by the morning light. 

With heavy hearts, lightened, however, by the 
hope of soon repeating their journey to London, 
the Fairplays bade adieu to uncle, aunt, and all 
their dear cousins, except Kate, whom they took 
with them to Yorkshire, where they arrived in 
perfect safety long before evening had set in. Mrs. 
Fair] i ( received her children with a kiss ; and as 

**&£&> J& 

Kate advanced towards her, she was welcomed 
with all the fervour of a little favourite. 

We promise our youthful readers that when 
next Frank and Tom leave home in search of ad- 
ventures, we will not fail to go with them, and 
print the particulars without delay. 




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